5 Candidates for Woman Secretary General of the UN ⋆ Green Woman Store

How important it is for U.S. women to know about and be involved in international affairs. Our media does not cover global politics in a way that helps us understand the strength and importance of women’s participation in political affairs around the world.

This campaign to nominate 5 Candidates for Woman Secretary General of the UN is an opportunity for all of us to become involved by educating ourselves and with our donations. I invite you to do both as you read about these women’s leadership and work on all our behalf, and listen to the candidates in their own words in the very short videos linked below.

Shazia Rafi feminism telesummitWe learned about this Campaign when Carolyn Gage interviewed Shazia Rafi for our Feminism and Sustainability Telesummit. You can listen to Shazia’s interview here.

Here is how this Campaign began: In February 2015, a group of like-minded women came together to launch this campaign to elect a woman as Secretary-General of the United Nations when Ban Ki-moon steps down at the end of 2016.

These like-minded women from academia and civil society with a long record of engagement with the United Nations formed a core planning group to enact a plan of action. They welcome others to join the campaign, both men and women, individuals and organizations alike. It’s time!

Here are the 5 Candidates for Woman Secretary General of the UN
(Read more on each Candidate here)


Irina Bokova, Nominated by the Government of Bulgaria February 11, 2016

“Uniting all for peace, sustainability and dignity – this is my vision of the United Nations.”

Currently serving as Director-General of UNESCO ( United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) where she is actively engaged in international efforts to advance quality education for all, gender equality, cultural dialogue and scientific cooperation for sustainable development and is leading UNESCO as a global advocate for safety of journalists and freedom of expression.

“When I was elected for the first time as Director”‘General of UNESCO in 2009, I presented a vision statement entitled “UNESCO in the 21st Centuryl A New Humanism in a Globalized World”. Today, seven years later, I am more convinced than ever that the world, and the United Nations at its service, need a new humanistic approach to tackle a horizon of pressing challenges and threats.” You can read Irina’s entire Vision Statement here.

Listen to Irina in her own words here. 

Helen Clark, Nominated by New Zealand April 4, 2016

Helen Clark is currently serving as the first woman Administrator of UNDP (United Nations Development Program). She also chairs the UN Development Group, a committee consisting of the heads of all development-related UN funds, programs and departments.

Helen Clark was the first woman in New Zealand to serve as Deputy Prime Minister from 1989 to 1990, the first woman appointed to New Zealand’s Privy Council in 1990, the first woman to be elected as head of a major party, the Labour Party, in 1993.

As Prime Minister of New Zealand for three consecutive terms from 1999 to 2008, she served as a member of the Council of Women World Leaders, an international network of current and former women presidents and prime ministers whose mission is to mobilize the highest-level women leaders globally for collective action on issues of critical importance to women and equitable development.

Helen Clark in her own words here.

Natalia Gherman, Nominated by the Republic of Moldova February 19, 2016

“Human rights are indivisible; therefore, economic, social and cultural rights should be pursued with equal determination. Women’s and girls’ rights are central to this effort. They have displayed courage and commitment to peace, sustainable development and human dignity. Efforts shall be redoubled to empower their contribution and participation as well as protect their rights and ensure their representation. No tangible progress can be achieved and no sustainable peace can be attained, if women and girls, over half of the world’s population, are left behind.”

Natalia Gherman is a former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration of the Republic of Moldova. She is a career diplomat holding the diplomatic rank of Ambassador.

Natalia Gherman in her own words here on the military build up on the Ukrainian Russia Border.

Susana Mulcorra, Nominated by the Government of Argentina, May 23, 2016

International public servant Susana Malcorra was appointed Minister of Foreign Relations by Argentine President Macri in November 2015. In assuming the role, Ms. Malcorra resigned her position as Chef de Cabinet for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
In March 2008 Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appointed Ms. Malcorra as Under-Secretary-General for Field Support, which provides dedicated support to all U.N. peacekeeping field missions and political field missions, leading staff of more than 120,000 military, civilian, and police personnel deployed around the world.

Ms. Malcorra served as Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Executive Director of the World Food Programme (WFP) from 2004 to 2008, overseeing daily emergency and humanitarian operations in more than 80 countries,

Prior to entering the international civil service, Ms. Malcorra worked for twenty-five years in the private sector, advancing to leadership positions both at IBM and Telecom Argentina, where she served as that organization’s first female Chief Executive Officer.

Susana Malcorra in her own words here, speaks about the importance of UN peacekeeping operations, and the global impact of the UN.

Vesna Pusic, Nominated by the Government of Croatia, January 14, 2016

Dr. Vesna Pusić is the former First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of Croatia.

In 1978, Dr. Pusić and seven other women formed the first feminist organization in SFR Yugoslavia, Žena i društvo. She was also a founder and director of the nongovernmental organization, Erasmus Guild (1993-1998), which promoted cultural democracy in post-conflict transition Croatia and the Balkans.
She is an accomplished sociologist and politician, graduating in 1976 with a degree in philosophy from the University of Zagreb. Her research covers theories of industrial democracy and the sociology of politics. Dr. Pusić has also lectured at the University of Chicago, Cornell University, American University in Washington DC and the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars.

She is a founding member of the Croatian People’s Party in 1990, and later served as president of the party from 2000 and 2008, and again in 2013. In 2000, she was elected to the Croatian Parliament and served as the Deputy Speaker from 2003 to 2007.

From 2006 to 2012, she was the vice-president of the European Liberal Democratic and Reform Party and from 2008 to 2012 she was the Chairperson of the National Committee for Monitoring the Accession Negotiations between Croatia and the European Union. Dr. Pusić ran as the HNS-LD party candidate for president of Croatia during the 2009-2010 election, and served in 2013 as the party’s president.

Vesna Pusic in her own words here. 


  • Advocate for a woman as the next Secretary-General and make the selection of a woman inevitable
  • Support the selection process by contributing to the identification of the best possible female candidates
  • Support all qualified women candidates
  • Promote transparency in the selection process
  • Involve governments and civil society in the search and selection


As the campaign and selection process advance through the summer and into the fall, Member States will continue attuning themselves to civil society’s voice, grown loud of late. If you have been considering making a Donation in support of the first woman UN Secretary General, we urge you to do so in this critical “home stretch.”

Your support goes towards funding efforts to make sure that a woman is elected the next Secretary-General of the United Nations.

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